Visitors at the VietFood, Beverage and Professional Packing Machines international exhibition that opened in HCM City on August 7. — VNS Photo Thu Hằng
HCM CITY — Việt Nam will attract more foreign direct investment and boost its agricultural and fisheries exports through free trade agreements, experts have said.
The recently signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) would help the country increase its agricultural and fisheries output, Phạm Tuấn Long, deputy director of the division of agriculture, forestry and fishery at the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s export-import department, said.
“With commitments under FTAs, import tariffs will be reduced or eliminated in various markets, creating favorable conditions for Việt Nam’s exports,” he told a workshop held in HCM City on Wednesday.
Việt Nam is a leading producer and exporter of a variety of agricultural products, including rice, coffee, pepper, cashew and fish, he said.
Last year exports of its main agricultural products were worth US$27 billion, or nearly 11 per cent of total exports.
Việt Nam exports goods to more than 200 markets.
In the first half of this year, agricultural exports were worth $12.3 billion, with fisheries, fruits and vegetables, coffee, cashew, rice, and pepper exports each fetching more than $1 billion.
However, with technical barriers and strict requirements with regard to food safety and hygiene standards, Việt Nam’s agricultural products face many challenges since agriculture is mostly done on a small scale.
The trade ministry has co-ordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to update local businesses on technical barriers and trade protection measures in import countries, he said.
Phạm Thiết Hòa, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City, said it is vital that local firms invest heavily in modern facilities and technology and carefully manage quality and food safety in both the farming and processing stages to fulfil the export potential.
But they need to be offered incentives to enhance capacity, develop brands and update themselves on export markets and market surveys, he said.
The workshop titled “Opportunities to access potential export markets for food and foodstuff sector” was held on the sidelines of the VietFood, Beverage and Professional Packing Machines international exhibition held in HCM City from August 7 to 10. — VNS